Study of the U.S. Institute for Students
on Religious Pluralism in the United States

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The Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) for Students on Religious Pluralism in the United States will be held at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 22-July 27, 2019. The program is administered/hosted by the Dialogue Institute and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Participants in SUSI are among the approximately 30,000 individuals who participate in exchanges managed by ECA each year.  

Dialogue Institute
Temple University (062-56)
1700 N. Broad Street, Suite 315
Philadelphia, PA 19121-0843

You are among twenty outstanding students from four different countries who have been chosen to participate in this intensive six-week learning experience. The program is designed to include classroom work as well as frequent interactions with many Americans from diverse backgrounds. The course will offer a variety of learning opportunities including lectures, classroom discussions, cultural and religious site visits, trips to New York City, and a nearly two week-long study tour in Salt Lake City (Utah),  and Washington, DC —all designed to increase your understanding of American democracy and the way in which religious practice is protected and expressed in U.S. society.

Program Hosts

The Dialogue Institute (DI) at Temple University was founded in 1978 to advance interreligious and cross-cultural understanding and scholarship through education, networking and resource development; it is related to Temple's Department of Religion. We are delighted to welcome you for a unique learning experience based at Temple University.

Leadership Team

Program Administrators and Senior Staff

Professor Leonard Swidler

Academic Director

Prof. Leonard Swidler is Founder and President of the Dialogue Institute, as well as Founding Editor of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies. He is Professor of Catholic Thought and Interreligious Dialogue in the Religion Department of Temple University, where he has taught since 1966. At Temple, and as a visiting professor at universities around the world – including Graz, Austria; Tübingen, Germany; Fudan University, Shanghai; and the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur – Prof. Swidler has mentored a generation of U.S. and international scholars in the work of interreligious dialogue. Prof. Swidler has a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the University of Tübingen, and received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin; he also holds honorary doctorates from St. Norbert’s College and LaSalle University. Prof. Swidler has published more than 180 articles and 70 books.

Andi Laudisio

Program Director

Andi is the Administrative and Development Coordinator for the Dialogue Institute and currently a PhD student in the Religion Department at Temple University. Her dissertation topic is on the 2005 Iraqi Constitution and its resulting sectarian violence. She is working to identify how a Democratic intervention transformed the religious landscape of a primarily Islamic nation and if such an influence has the possibility to lead to religious pluralism within Iraq despite its current sectarian divide.  Andi earned her BA in Cultural Anthropology and Linguistics at SUNY University at Buffalo. She attended Arizona State University for her MA in Religious Studies with a focus on the Bremer Period of Iraq. 

Ms. Shaheen Khan has worked for the Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy Bangladesh for an extensive period.  As the primary educational liaison for the embassy, she helped senior leadership formulate educational and cultural outreach strategies in response to Bangladesh policy and trends in alignment with Mission strategy.  Ms. Khan directly administered academic exchange programs including the Fulbright student and scholar programs for both Bangladeshis and Americans.  She also managed the Study of the U.S. Institute program. In the beginning of her career, she led the Educational Advising Program at the embassy and advised aspiring students and scholars on higher studies in the U.S.  She Served as the primary point of contact for the government, academic, and cultural circles on furthering U.S.-Bangladesh higher educational ties in accordance with the U.S. Embassy’s Mission strategy.   Ms. Khan has a master’s degree in public administration from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.  She also has a second master’s degree in public administration and community development from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. 

Shaheen Khan

Administrative Director